Last week I had my sixth and final round of chemo. As I prepared to leave, shiny new congratulatory gifts in hand from Rob and wobbly kneed from the drugs, the nurses presented me with this. I cried.
I expected to go home triumphant, but in the end I did not feel that way at all. I felt like, well, someone who just endured a sixth #*($& round of chemo. Exhausted and worn and a bit deflated. A few days later I came down with a cold that led to a fever that led to a night in the emergency room; a temperature over 100.4 post-chemo requires a hospital visit, though we were thankful to learn that I had not picked up a scary infection, I was just sick. Don’t get a cold after chemo. Seriously.
It wasn’t until now– a full ten days after the round– that relief is starting to settle into my limbs and tingle, stretching and hopeful. Christmas season is upon us and the coming weeks are filled with activities, and my calendar has no chemotherapy appointments, no blood draws, no follow ups, just a handful of appointments preparing for the radiation phase of treatment that will begin sometime near the end of the month. I’m digging out. But I can’t ignore the weight of passing through these rounds, or the fear of some how, some way, having to face such a treatment again. I don’t think something like this can be pushed aside quickly.
On a lighter note, can I say… all I want for Christmas is to grow some hair? Coming in 2013…